GE-McKinsey nine-box matrix is a strategy device that provides a systematic technique for the multi service corporation come prioritize that is investments amongst its company units.

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GE-McKinsey is a framework that evaluates business portfolio, provides additional strategic implications and also helps to prioritize the investment needed for each service unit (BU).<2>

Understanding the tool

In the company world, lot like anywhere else, the problem of resource scarcity is affect the decisions the providers make. With minimal resources, however many methods of using them, the businesses require to choose how to usage their cash best. The fight for investments takes location in every level that the company: between teams, useful departments, departments or organization units. The inquiry of where and how much to invest is an ever before going headache for those who allocate the resources.

How go this impact the diversified businesses? Multi organization companies manage complex business portfolios, often, v as lot as 50, 60 or 100 products and also services. The products or company units different in what they do, exactly how well they perform or in their future prospects. This makes it very hard to do a decision in which products the firm should invest. At least, that was tough until the BCG matrix and its enhanced version GE-McKinsey matrix concerned help. These tools resolved the trouble by compare the organization units and assigning them come the teams that are worth investing in or the teams that have to be harvest or divested.


In 1970s, General electrical was managing a vast and complicated portfolio of unrelated products and was unsatisfied around the returns from its investments in the products. At the time, service providers usually relied ~ above projections the future cash flows, future market growth or some various other future projections to make investment decisions, which was an unreliable an approach to point out the resources. Therefore, GE consulted the McKinsey & company and together a result the nine-box structure was designed. The nine-box procession plots the BUs top top its 9 cell that show whether the firm should invest in a product, harvest/divest that or carry out a further research top top the product and also invest in that if there’re tho some resources left. The BUs room evaluated on two axes: industry attractiveness and a competitive toughness of a unit.

Industry Attractiveness

Industry attractiveness suggests how tough or easy it will be because that a firm to contend in the market and earn profits. The more lucrative the industry is the an ext attractive it becomes. When evaluating the sector attractiveness, analysts should look how an sector will readjust in the long run fairly than in the near future, because the investments needed for the product typically require long lasting commitment.

Industry attractiveness consists of countless factors that jointly determine the vain level in it. Yes sir no definite perform of which determinants should be contained to determine industry attractiveness, yet the complying with are the many common: <1>

Long run growth rateIndustry sizeIndustry structure (use Structure-Conduct-Performance frame to identify this)Product life bike changesChanges in demandTrend that pricesSeasonalityAvailability of laborMarket segmentation

Competitive toughness of a business unit or a product

Along the X axis, the matrix measures how strong, in regards to competition, a particular business unit is versus its rivals. In other words, managers try to identify whether a service unit has a sustainable competitive advantage (or at the very least temporary compete advantage) or not. If the firm has a sustainable compete advantage, the following question is: “For just how long it will certainly be sustained?”

The following components determine the competitive strength of a business unit:

Total industry shareMarket re-superstructure growth compared to rivalsBrand toughness (use brand value for this)Profitability the the companyCustomer loyaltyLevel of product differentiationProduction flexibility


Helps come prioritize the restricted resources in stimulate to accomplish the finest returns.Managers become an ext aware of just how their assets or organization units perform.It’s more sophisticated company portfolio framework than the BCG matrix.Identifies the strategic actions the company needs to do to improve the power of its company portfolio.


Requires a consultant or a extremely experienced human being to identify industry’s attractiveness and also business unit toughness as accurately together possible.It is i have lot of money to conduct.It no take into account the synergies that could exist in between two or an ext business units.

Difference between GE McKinsey and also BCG matrices

GE McKinsey matrix is a very comparable portfolio evaluation structure to BCG matrix. Both matrices are provided to analysis company’s product or organization unit portfolio and facilitate the invest decisions.

The main differences:

Visual difference. BCG is only a 4 cell matrix, when GE McKinsey is a nine cell matrix. Nine cells provide much better visual portrait that where organization units was standing in the matrix. It also separates the invest/grow cell from harvest/divest cells the are much closer come each other in the BCG matrix and may confuse rather of what investment decisions to make.
Comprehensiveness. The factor why the GE McKinsey frame was occurred is the BCG portfolio tool wasn’t innovative enough because that the guys from basic Electric. In BCG matrix, competitive stamin of a organization unit is equal to relative market share, i beg your pardon assumes the the bigger the market share a service has the far better it is positioned to contend in the market. This is true, but it’s too simplistic to assume that it’s the only factor affecting the compete in the market. The exact same is with industry attractiveness the is measured only as the market growth rate in BCG. It pertains to no surprise that GE v its facility business portfolio needed something much more comprehensive than that.

Using the tool

There room no established processes or models that managers might use once performing the analysis. Therefore, we designed the following steps to facilitate the process:

Step 1. Recognize industry attractiveness the each service unit

Make a list of factors. The first thing you’ll need to do is to identify, which components to incorporate when measuring industry attractiveness. We’ve noted the perform of the most usual factors, but you should incorporate the determinants that are the most proper to your industries.Assign weights. Weights show how necessary a element is come industry’s attractiveness. A number native 0.01 (not important) to 1.0 (very important) should be assigned to every factor. The amount of every weights must equal to 1.0.Rate the factors. The following thing you should do is to rate each variable for every of her product or service unit. Select the values in between ‘1-5’ or ‘1-10’, where ‘1’ suggests the low industry attractiveness and also ‘5’ or ‘10’ high market attractiveness.Calculate the total scores. Full score is the sum of all weighted scores for each company unit. Load scores room calculated by multiplying weights and also ratings. Full scores permit comparing industry attractiveness because that each organization unit.Industry Attractiveness (1/2)FactorWeightRatingWeighted ScoreRatingWeighted ScoreIndustry growth rateIndustry sizeIndustry profitabilityIndustry structureTrend that pricesMarket segmentationTotal score
Business Unit 1Business Unit 2
Industry Attractiveness (2/2)FactorWeightRatingWeighted ScoreRatingWeighted ScoreIndustry growth rateIndustry sizeIndustry profitabilityIndustry structureTrend of pricesMarket segmentationTotal score
Business Unit 3Business Unit 4

This is a challenging task and one that typically requires including a consultant who is an skilled of the sectors in question. The consultant will help you to recognize the weights and to price them correctly so the analysis is as precise as possible.

Step 2. Recognize the competitive toughness of each business unit

‘Step 2’ is the exact same as ‘Step 1’ only this time, rather of industry attractiveness, the competitive strength of a company unit is evaluated.

Make a perform of factors. Pick the competitive strength determinants from our list or add your own factors.Assign weights. Weights show how vital a variable is in achieving sustainable vain advantage. A number indigenous 0.01 (not important) to 1.0 (very important) need to be assigned to each factor. The sum of all weights have to equal come 1.0.Rate the factors. Price each aspect for every of your product or company unit. Choose the values between ‘1-5’ or ‘1-10’, whereby ‘1’ indicates the weak strength and also ‘5’ or ‘10’ powerful strength.Calculate the complete scores. Watch ‘Step 1’.Competitive stamin (1/2)FactorWeightRatingWeighted ScoreRatingWeighted ScoreMarket shareRelative development rateCompany’s profitabilityBrand valueVRIO resourcesCPM ScoreTotal score
Business Unit 1Business Unit 2
Competitive toughness (2/2)FactorWeightRatingWeighted ScoreRatingWeighted ScoreMarket shareRelative expansion rateCompany’s profitabilityBrand valueVRIO resourcesCPM ScoreTotal score
Business Unit 3Business Unit 4

Step 3. Plot the organization units top top a matrix


With every the evaluations and also scores in place, we have the right to plot the organization units on the matrix. Each business unit is stood for as a circle. The dimension of the circle need to correspond come the relationship of the company revenue produced by that company unit. For example, ‘Business unit 1’ generates 20% revenue and also ‘Business unit 2’ generates 40% revenue because that the company. The size of a circle for ‘Business unit 1’ will be fifty percent the dimension of a circle because that ‘Business unit 2’.

Step 4. Analyze the information


There are different investment effects you need to follow, relying on which box your service units have been plotted. There room 3 groups of boxes: investment/grow, selectivity/earnings and harvest/divest boxes. Each group of boxes indicates what you must do v your investments.

Investment implicationsInvest/GrowSelectivity/EarningsHarvest/DivestInvest or not?
Definitely investInvest if yes money left and also the instance of organization unit can be improvedInvest just enough to store the business unit operation or divest

Invest/Grow box. Companies should invest right into the company units that autumn into this boxes as they promise the greatest returns in the future. These service units will require a the majority of cash since they’ll be operation in growing industries and also will need to maintain or thrive their industry share. The is crucial to administer as much resources as feasible for BUs so there would certainly be no constraints because that them to grow. The investments need to be provided for R&D, advertising, acquisitions and also to boost the production capacity to accomplish the demand in the future.

Selectivity/Earnings box. You need to invest into these BUs only if you have the money left end the invest in invest/grow service units group and also if you believe that BUs will generate cash in the future. These business units space often considered last as there’s a lot of uncertainty through them. The general dominance should it is in to invest in company units which operate in large markets and also there are not many dominant players in the market, for this reason the investments would aid to easily win larger market share.

Harvest/Divest box. The company units that space operating in not attractive industries, don’t have sustainable competitive benefits or are incapable of achieve it and also are performing relatively poorly loss into harvest/divest boxes. What must companies perform with these business units?

First, if the organization unit generates excess cash, companies should treat them the exact same as the service units that loss into ‘cash cows’ box in the BCG matrix. This method that the companies need to invest right into these business units just sufficient to keep them operating and also collect every the cash generated by it. In other words, it’s worth to invest into such business as lengthy as investments into it no exceed the cash created from it.

Second, the company units that just make losses must be divested. If that’s impossible and there’s no method to turn the losses right into profits, the agency should liquidate the company unit.

Step 5. Recognize the future direction that each business unit

The GE McKinsey matrix only gives the current picture of sector attractiveness and also the competitive strength of a organization unit and also doesn’t take into consideration how they may change in the future. Further evaluation may reveal that investments right into some that the business units can substantially improve your competitive location or the the sector may experience major growth in the future. This affect the decisions us make around our investments right into one or another business unit.

For example, our previous evaluations show that the ‘Business Unit 1’ belongs to invest/grow box, however further evaluation of an market reveals the it’s going to shrink substantially in the near future. Therefore, in the near future, the organization unit will be in harvest/divest group rather 보다 invest/grow box. Would you still invest as much in ‘Business Unit 1’ as you would have invested initially? The answer is no and the matrix must take that right into consideration.

How to carry out that? Well, the firm should consult with the industry analysts to determine whether the market attractiveness will certainly grow, remain the exact same or decrease in the future. Friend should also discuss v your supervisors whether your company unit competitive stamin will likely rise or diminish in the close to future. When all the info is gathered you should include it to your existing matrix, by including the arrows come the circles. The arrows should point to the future place of a service unit.

The adhering to table shows how industry attractiveness and also business unit competitive stamin will readjust in 2 years.

Business Unit 1Business Unit 2Business Unit 3Business Unit 4Industry attractivenessBusiness unit competitive strength
DecreaseStay the sameStay the sameIncrease


Step 6. Prioritize your investments

The last action is to decide where and how to invest the that company money. When the matrix renders it much easier by evaluating the service units and identifying the finest ones come invest in, the still no answer some very important questions:

Is it really worth investing right into some business units?How much exactly to invest in?Where come invest into organization units (more to R&D, marketing, value chain?) to boost their performance?

Doing the GE McKinsey matrix and also answering all the concerns takes time, effort and money, yet it’s still one of the most crucial product portfolio administration tools that considerably facilitate invest decisions.

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McKinsey & agency (2008). Enduring Ideas: The GE–McKinsey nine-box matrix.David, F.R. (2009). Strategy Management: Concepts and Cases. 12th ed. FT Prentice HallWiki (2008). BCG matrix & GE/McKinsey Matrix.